So new year, new challenge. If you read my fitness new year resolutions blog post you will know that I am on a Sugar detox, and it seems that I am not alone; Cantara from Gymbags and Gladrags and from Deja from Deja Zu are both giving up sugar in January. I decided to do the 21 Day Challenge, so from today I am giving up refined sugar.
Now don’t get me wrong I’m not sugar mad… I don’t add it to food, but I do eat food high in sugar. Did you know that many foods have hidden sugar in them, from cereals, granola, fruit, smoothies, fruit juice, coleslaw, barbeque sauce, ketchup, pasta sauce… the list goes on! So as well as the usual sugar suspects of chocolate, cookies, cakes, pastries, soft drinks there are hundreds of foods that have sugar added to them. Did you know that the average person consumes 34 teaspoons of sugar a day!! Could you image just sitting and eating that in one sitting! Just take a look at the picture below at how much sugar is found in your favourite drinks!
So you may wonder why I’ve decided to give up sugar, we here’s a quick list on why sugar is not good for you, your health or your looks!
- Consuming excess sugar makes you look older! Studies have shown that there is a direct link between the amount of sugar consumed and how old a person looks. High sugar diets reduce the quality of the collagen in your skin – the less collagen you have the more your skin breaks down, making it thinner and more wrinkly. It also becomes more prone to the damaging effects of the environment and UV rays, so for great youthful looking skin, cut out the sugar!
- Sugar is addictive! Sugar initially gives you a massive high and then a few hours later you crash, which makes you crave more, so you consume more sugar. It works the same way any drug would! Sugar is a mood-altering drug which plays with your moods, one minute your happy then next you are mood and anxious.
- Sugar causes illnesses including obesity, type-2 diabetes, heart diseases, cancer and liver problems. It has even been linked to fertility problems in women and increases the risk of dementia and rheumatoid arthritis! Wow sugar really is evil!
- Sugar is empty calories! High sugar foods such as soft drinks, chocolate and pastry unfortunately contain very little essential nutrients. So if you eat high sugar food such as these instead of more nutritious foods, you will probably become deficient in many important nutrients.
So as you can see there are very few health benefits to sugar, so there is no need to be eating it in excess. Now as sugar has the same effects on you as drugs… i.e. it can be addictive, my sugar detox may be a little more difficult than I think, so I will keep you all updated on how I do!
Have you ever tried a sugar detox? How did you manage? Would you call yourself a sugar addict?